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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ummah (7)

[17: 36]

Ecco poi, fin da gli Indi e da l'albergo
De l'Aurora venuto, Adrasto il fiero,
Che di serpente indosso ha per usbergo
Il cuoio verde e maculato a nero;
E smisurato a un elefante il tergo
Preme così come si suol destriero.
Gente guida costui di qua dal Gange,
Che si lava nel mar che l'Indo frange.

And lo, coming from India and the home
Of Aurora (dawn), the fierce Adrast, who
Wears as an armor the green leather,
Decorated with black spots, of a dragon;
Of an enormous elephant he presses
The back -- instead of a horse as usual.
People he leads here from the Ganges,
That flows into the same sea as Indus does.

Missing in Gerusalemme Liberata, Adrast is the most picturesque villain in Gerusalemme Conquistata. But the description of his war actions will draw on a much less exotic source: Virgil's Aeneid. The detail of his armour in serpent/dragon skin comes from Ariosto's Rodomont.